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December is an important month for school finances, and we are grateful for the community support that allows us to move into fiscal year 2023 in a stable position. Our school district referendum was approved with 63% voter support on November 2. And after three years of budget cuts, we are …

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In my travels across our state I often hear from people about the need to improve our infrastructure in rural areas. Minnesotans see problems with our infrastructure every day as they drive over one too many potholes in the winter, face significant delays to access materials and equipment fo…

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In an effort to raise awareness, reduce the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease, educate our community and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease; this month’s article highlights keeping the person you care for living at home for as long as possible. This is a concern for man…

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I’VE BEEN TRYING to wrap my arms around the American holiday of Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for: our nation’s freedoms, a free enterprise system, law and order, advanced medical care, and the list goes on and on.

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Another of the offshoots of my kidney stone episode last summer has been my motivation to be more active. Since my job could be considered a “desk job” for the most part, I needed to find another way of being more active. The solution I came up with was to go for an approximately 30-minute w…

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Minnesota’s rural communities are home to over 1,243,226 residents. To mark National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 18, 2021, Carrie Henning-Smith, an associate professor in the School of Public Health who specializes in health and healthcare in rural communities, speaks about the un…

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Veterans Day is a special day at NBAPS and across our communities. Ever since moving to North Branch last year, I heard about the traditions that take place in each of our schools to honor Veterans and I couldn’t wait to be part of it! Last Thursday, staff and students across the district pa…

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The holidays can be a wonderful time of celebration with family gatherings, decorating, exchanging gifts, and an overindulgence of food and drinks. For others, it can be a time of stress, financial strain, loneliness, depression and heartache. If you add to that list drug or alcohol addictio…

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November, to me, has long been one of those months that could just as well be torn from the calendar, but then … something would have to take its place, right? November sheds its colorful coat of autumn leaves, gives up on the growing season, and abandons the outdoor experiences that were ch…

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For years, Arts Fest has been one of the most popular events hosted by our wonderful staff in Community Education. In fact, since 1984 Arts Fest has attracted an average of 4,500 attendees each year!

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One of the scientific theories that has always fascinated me is “The Butterfly effect.” In brief, the theory states that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world can eventually cause a hurricane in another part of the world.

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In an effort to raise awareness, reduce the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease, educate our community and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease; this month’s article acknowledges the important role that family, friends and neighbors play in caring for those who are ill, agi…

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Ever since I was diagnosed with my kidney stone that needed a little help in passing, I’ve been trying to maintain better eating habits. Biggest on that task is cutting down on snacking at any time, but especially after dinner. For a person who has admittedly a considerable sweet tooth, that…

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The snowy weather is coming whether we like it or not. The threat of that weather always triggers a number of questions concerning the city’s rules concerning the removal of that snow that has just fallen on your sidewalk or driveway. Here are a few of the questions that are most frequently …

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Living in this community provides so many opportunities to see ever-present Viking Pride! People of all ages wear North Branch Area Public Schools clothing, and whether on a walk, at the grocery store, or at an event cheering on our students, spontaneous opportunities emerge to share our pri…

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SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, I visited the Allina Clinic in Shoreview for a pre-op Covid test. A pleasant experience occurred as I was leaving the clinic.

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One of the types of emails that crosses my computer each week is a ranking of best and worst cities in some sort of category. Most of the time, I will delete these without giving them a second glance since they tend to be highly unscientific and are usually tied with trying to get me to inte…

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MORE AND MORE people are advocating term limits for those serving on Capitol Hill in Washington. Many people once they are elected focus on making financial benefits for themselves rather than what’s best for the American people.

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At North Branch Area Public Schools, we are excited about our quality partnerships with local businesses, the municipalities we serve, and the North Branch Area Chamber of Commerce. NBAPS continues to be at the forefront of educational excellence by growing with our industry and civic partners!

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I have always been a Jon Gruden fan. As a coach, he was fiery and represented good old, hard-nosed football. Add to that a fun nickname (“Chucky” based on when he scowled it looked just like the main character in the “Child’s Play” horror movies), and it was hard not to like him. I was even …

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Recently North Branch Water & Light made the decision to wind down the utility and transferred all water management to the City of North Branch Public Works Department. My number one goal has been and continues to be to increase efficiencies of the water department with my ultimate goal …

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Health and wellness of students and staff continues to be our priority at North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS). We value flexibility and choice for families to decide what is best for each child: distance learning or 5-day, in-school option. Our Safe Learning plan provides predictability…

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In our society alcohol is a very acceptable beverage of choice at family gathering, social events, or pretty much anytime. Many people who drink alcoholic beverages don’t think of themselves as someone who uses drugs. I have often heard it said “I would never do drugs” as they are drinking a…

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One highlight from last year was experiencing Viking service in action at last spring’s Community Service Day. People really appreciated the opportunity to have some students and staff stop by to help with chores and general spring clean up. The positive, uplifting presence of staff and stud…

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In an effort to raise awareness, educate our community and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease, this month’s article will highlight a resource at your fingertips, the East Central Regional Library, our local library! 

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I am not sure what I expected our country to look like in 2021, but I certainly did not expect it to be so fractured and so bogged down in hate. My oldest son was a year old on September 11, 2001. The wave of patriotism following that day gave me hope for the America that my kids would inherit.

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It is the responsibility of reporters or journalists to make sure factual information is reported about what is happening in the world around them when reporting the news of the day. It is not their responsibility to report everyone’s opinion, or to help spread disinformation or misinformati…

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It’s only two weeks into the NFL season and already Vikings fans know where this season is heading. For all intents and purposes, the Purple should be 2-0 on the season, sitting atop the NFC North. And if it wasn’t for two plays (one in each game), that’s exactly where we would be.

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We are back in school and great things are happening in North Branch Area Public Schools! Our facilities look great, staff are building relationships with students, and everyone is working hard to create the conditions to amplify each student’s gifts and talents. As each student transitions …

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Fall is just around the corner and it brings the annual tradition of leaf pick up. Leaves may be organic, but if they are allowed to blow into the street, leaves make the road slippery leading to accidents, clog stormwater drains, and introduce fertilizer and other unwanted stuff in the Sunr…

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North Branch Area Public Schools has taken a major leap forward to expand career pathway options for high school students this year! Working alongside our community college and industry partners, we have transformed the student experience to align with workforce needs. 

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The Aug. 19 Cambridge-Isanti School Board meeting may have been one of the most unusual, and quite frankly scary, meetings I’ve attended. Upon arrival, we reporters were met with the largest number of people crowded into that room since the district’s controversial decision to drop out of th…

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Now that high school football and volleyball teams are in their playoff runs, pro and college football are well underway, major league baseball is soon to begin post-season, and pro hockey and basketball have begun or will soon begin pre-season games, I am reminded that fall is here. Certain…

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During the past 18 months Minnesota judges have, until recently, presided over few in-person hearings in the courtroom, other than jury trials.  Some of the seriousness of the proceedings is lost when hearings are conducted remotely over Zoom.  Parties appear while smoking, eating, wearing a…

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While I consider myself as having a good long-term memory, there are few days in my life that I can recall as vividly as the one 20 years ago Saturday. On that day, our entire world changed as the nation was shaken to the ground, both literally and figuratively.

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VERY FEW FAMILY businesses go longer than three generations. I have been reminded over the years by successful people of a quote, “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” What it comes down to is the first generation works hard, the next generation has it a little easier, and by …